It can be easy to get caught up in the routine of life, doing whatever it takes to get from one point to the next, without doing much that’s exciting or enriching.
Some Quora users offer a few ideas to break the routine in their responses to the thread: “What is something every person should experience at least once in a lifetime?“
The responses range from trying an extreme sport to discovering something life-changing about yourself.
We’ve summarized some of the best answers below.
1. Live somewhere vastly different from your hometown.
Living in an unfamiliar setting among people with a different worldview from yours can help you become more self-reliant. — Deepthi Amarasuriya
2. Go out of your way to help a stranger.
Put in time and effort to help someone you have “absolutely no social, moral, or legal obligation to help,” and don’t expect anything in return. — Kent Fung
3. Learn how to appreciate being alone.
Avoid feeling lonely on your own by truly becoming comfortable with yourself. — Barbara Rose
4. Travel without being a tourist.
Go on a trip without feeling the need to take nonstop photos of the biggest tourist attractions. Instead of being a “tourist,” be a “traveller” and try to get an idea of how the locals live. — Arya Raje
5. Take a trip without making any plans.
A “serendipitous adventure” free of the restrictions of an itinerary can be both thrilling and relaxing. — Julian Keith Loren
6. Go paragliding/parasailing/skydiving — anything where you’re flying through the air.
The feeling of weightlessness you get is a joy unmatched by anything else in life. — Sainyam Kapoor
7. Learn how to get by on the bare minimum.
If you’re just starting out professionally and fortunate enough to not know a life of poverty, it is worth struggling to make it on your own without the safety net of your family. You’ll learn to appreciate what you earn. — Anonymous
8. Work a service job.
If you’ve never had a difficult job like being a waiter, courier, or janitor, then try volunteering somewhere like a shelter. You’ll learn patience, humbleness, and dependability. — Diego Noriega Mendoza
9. Become comfortable speaking in public.
Public speaking is consistently ranked among people’s top fears, but developing the skill can advance your career and boost your confidence. — Mark Savchuk
10. Participate in an endurance trial like a marathon.
Athletic events like marathons and long cycling races are essentially “voluntary suffering” that can teach you that with enough determination, you can get through anything and appreciate the journey. — Denis Oakley
11. Go scuba diving.
“It is like exploring a completely new world.” — Rajneesh Mitharwal
12. Learn to dance.
Most people are embarrassed to dance at events without the help of some alcohol, but instead of making a fool of yourself at every wedding, learn some real techniques! — Meenakshhi Mishra
13. Run or volunteer for some position of leadership.
You don’t necessarily need to quit your day job and start a senatorial campaign, but you can take a risk and put yourself out there, even if it’s just to become head of your company’s intramural softball team. — Warren Myers
14. Learn to appreciate failure.
Life is filled with defeats and setbacks. You can choose to suffer through each of them until your fortune improves, or you can learn to appreciate the opportunities for learning every failure provides. “It will help you to know yourself — what motivates you, what you did wrong, what makes you happy, and so on.” — Shikhar Argawal
15. Witness the birth of a child.
Seeing the birth of another human being, especially your own child, of course, is something you’ll never forget. — Jack Martin
16. Develop a bond with an animal.
Anyone who has a pet can tell you that the unconditional love you receive from an animal you care for is powerful and increases your overall happiness. — Simon Brown
17. Ride an elephant.
“There’s something incredible about being on top of a majestic animal.” — Ridwa Mousa
18. Drive as fast as you can down an empty road.
Don’t drive recklessly, of course. But if you’re a good enough driver and get a chance to drive down the speed-limit-free German Autobahn, go for it. — Cyndi Perlman Fink
19. Become as good as you can at one sport.
If you make a lifelong hobby of practicing your favourite sport, you will make leading a healthier life fun, challenging, and goal-driven. — Shiva Suri
20. Take a sabbatical from work.
At least once, step away from your professional life to pursue a passion or travel extensively. — Asmita Singh
21. Meditate in a redwood forest.
The massive, ancient trees in California’s redwood forests give you a chance to reflect in untouched nature. “It’s a spiritual and cleansing experience.” — Krystle Smart
22. Fly down a mountain on skis or a snowboard.
Entering a state of extreme focus as you soar down a snowy path can be a euphoric experience. — Pete Ashly
23. Camp in the wilderness hundreds of miles from civilisation.
Experiencing what it’s like to live without the luxuries of society will make you appreciate the beauty of nature as well as everything that makes your life easier. — Justin Jessup
24. Perform on stage.
“No matter how stage shy you are and if you don’t know how to sing or dance or act, just get on that stage once. Do your thing and own it. After this, I guarantee you will feel like a whole new person.” — Pritika Gulliani Jain
25. Swim in the “Devil’s Pool” above Victoria Falls in Zambia.
And if you’re a big risk-taker, at certain times of the year you can wade in a slow-moving pool that forms at the lip of the world’s largest waterfall. — Liz Dugas
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